Sunday, August 4, 2013
Wife solves boat problem
Ever spend way too much time trying to solve a problem, only to have someone else solve it in a minute?
My lovely wife did that to me today.
Refrigeration on a boat is an issue. I spent way too much time figuring out costs, power usage, power generation, size -the whole nine yards. Up until now, we've been making do with various coolers. One leaked all over the cabin. Another just didn't keep food cool enough for a reasonable length of time. I even went so far as to using two small coolers. One was full of frozen solid food and drinks. The other was stuff ready to use. That extended cold storage a bit.
Chasing after ice is fine for a week on the water, but it's pretty expensive and a big hassle. Nobody wants to mess with ice and coolers for long periods of time. At least I don't.
I looked at low amperage use refrigerators. Even the small ones were out of my price range. Maybe with a bigger boat, with more solar panels, it might be worth springing for a tiny one.
12 coolers are cheaper, but only drop the temp about 40 – 45 degrees F. That's fine for keeping a drink cool, but not so good for keeping meat in 95 degree weather. Worse, their energy draw is pretty high. Anyone who's ever used one in a car and forgot to unplug it knows what I'm talking about. They kill batteries. They work in my air conditioned van on the way to a campground. Once there the cooler is switched over to AC. For a few days van camping, it's fine.
Trying to find an adequate boat solution was driving me nuts, but my lovely wife solved it for me.
“Let's not use refrigeration.”
There, problem solved. We never had it back when we used to go backpacking. We put together tasty and nutritious meals that didn't require refrigeration. We rarely used any expensive freeze dried trail food. On a boat, we can carry heavy things like canned food that backpackers avoid. Plenty of fresh food, fruits and vegetables do just fine without refrigeration.
With he money saved we can afford to occasionally buy a fresh meal or a cold drink at a dockside restaurant. That's easy for us and good for those businesses.